DECA to send 19 to international competition

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The Whitefish High School DECA club at the state competition. (Courtesy photo)

The Whitefish High School DECA club is sending 19 competitors to its international conference next month after a strong showing at the state competition last month.

DECA is a National Career and Technical Student Organization that provides opportunities for students to further develop their technical, academic and employability skills.

The state competition held at Fairmont Hot Springs last month attracted more than 500 students from all across Montana. Whitefish High School was the only Class A school to compete at state.

The top three finishers in each event earn an automatic qualifying bid to the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, next month. After top three finishers, other finalists can make a secondary qualifier by being bumped up into the top three spots as each competitor can only compete in one event at internationals.

Whitefish had nine state champions in eight different events with Ian Caltabiano and Zach Ade finishing first in multiple events. In April, WHS will take 19 students to Georgia, where they will compete in their victorious events.

During competition, students compete against other students in role-play scenarios related to the world of business. There are written events that students can prepare beforehand or team events and individual events, in which students have short prep of 10 to 30 minutes and a short presentation of 10 to 15 minutes with the judge.

Students are scored on a criteria relating content to the role play, as well as their 21st century skills — communication, presentation, professionalism, etc.

Whitefish sophomore Elizabeth Campbell was awarded the Member of the Year Award by Montana DECA. Campbell is Whitefish DECA’s president-elect and works diligently to improve her DECA skills. She has qualified for the international competition in both of her competitive years and is always helping the younger students strive to be better.

Whitefish senior Grace Scrafford won the Emerging Diamond award, which is given to the student from each school who goes above and beyond their duties.

At the international competition, the Whitefish students will also get to attend a concert, Six Flags amusement park, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Georgia Aquarium. The students will also get to hear from keynote speaker world-renowned fashion designer Joseph Abboud.

Competitors attending the International Career Development Conference:

Grace Scrafford, Pixie Moore- Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan

Ian Caltabiano, Zach Ade- Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making

Alex Stein, Aidan McMahan, Brenden Cahill- Creative Marketing Project

Thea Vrentas, Anna Cook- Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

Kellie Brown, Lexie Carbo- Travel & Tourism Marketing Team Decision Making

Grace Arakaki, Faith Johnston- Marketing Management Team Decision Making

Josie Johnson- Principles of Finance

Abby Lowry- Marketing Communications

Douglas Mercer- Quick Serve Restaurant Management

Elizabeth Campbell- Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Amman Koch-Ford- Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Lucy Schindler- Principles of Hospitality & Tourism

State Competition top 10 finishers:

State Champions

Ian Caltabiano, Zach Ade- Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making

Alex Stein, Aidan McMahan- Creative Marketing Project

Douglas Mercer- Quick Serve Restaurant Management

Thea Vrentas, Anna Cook- Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

Ian Caltabiano- Principles of Finance

Ian Caltabiano- Business Services Marketing

Josie Johnson- Marketing Communications

Zach Ade- Business Finance

Second Place

Ian Caltabiano, Zach Ade, Grace Scrafford- International Business Plan

Josie Johnson, Abby Lowry- Travel & Tourism Marketing Team Decision Making

Douglas Mercer- Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Abby Lowry - Marketing Communications

Elizabeth Campbell- Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Thea Vrentas - Principles of Business Management

Josie Johnson- Principles of Finance

Third Place

Thea Vrentas- Buying and Merchandising Operations Research

Abby Lowry- Business Finance

Fourth Place

William Hyatt- Business Services Operations Research

Douglas Merce, Jack Spring- Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making

Kellie Brown, Olivia Potthoff - Travel & Tourism Team Decision Making

Grace Arakaki, Faith Johnston- Marketing Management Team Decision Making

Chaz Gillette- Principles of Business Management

Fifth Place

Braden Heimbigner - Financial Consulting

Elizabeth Campbell- Advertising Campaign

Amman Koch-Ford- Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Jack Schwaiger - Marketing Communications

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